Upon awaking this morning I began wondering what we could all do to make someone else's life a little easier. There are folks who are hurting and many who have no hope.
In my line of work I see it daily, as does my daughter in her profession. I am guessing whatever job you do, family you are in, church you attend, or the circle of people in which you interact on a daily basis, you also know someone who is hurting and could use a bit of encouragement. Personally, I have had those angel people in my life who have been a lifeline to me.
I simply must share this story from Wednesday:
The phone rang and the caller ID showed "number not available." Well, you and I both know that means anything from a telemarketer to prank caller to an "annoy me today" person. I answered it annoyed. The person explained he was from Liberty University ( I softened a bit, this being my alma mater) and they were inviting all the graduates from the school back to homecoming.
Still wondering if this were a "real live person" or just a recording, I proclaimed, "sorry, I'm unable to attend." Quickly, yet patiently, he explained when and where, and then he caught me completely off guard. "Is there anything we can pray for you and your family about?"
Honestly, I'm thinking, "Sure, put it on the list with your other bazillion requests." Yet, I blurted out one sentence with a five-word request. He then asked if I had a moment for him to have prayer with me. I pray with people daily, but I don't know when I've ever been on the receiving end of this.
When he began, he prayed specific ways for God to please move. He prayed scripture after scripture and specific way after scripture. He prayed things that I had not mentioned, but that were desperately an issue and worry concerning my request. This was definitely not a "scripted prayer."
I sensed the presence of God in a precious way and began to cry. I thanked him profusely after he was finished and was stunned as we hung up. This person, who I thought was just another annoying call, made a difference in my life that day. I continue to think about the call, and know that God was reassuring me of his watch-care and presence.
You could be "that person" today for someone else. Maybe you do not pray out loud with folks, but you could bake a pie and bring it to that widower on your street who just lost his wife. Or, you could say a kind word in the grocery store to a weary looking momma. Possibly, you have some talent or gift that could be used for the encouragement of other people. I know a lady who makes afghans and such for dying people. Still others I know work with disadvantaged children and change lives one at a time patiently, even though love is not necessarily shown back immediately.
How about you? What could you do for someone else? There is something called "helper's high." The "feel good" chemicals in the brain raise dramatically when we do something for someone else. We literally "get high" helping people.
You might think, "What can I do for someone else?" You possibly think you have no gifts, talents or abilities in which to make a difference in the lives of others. Everyone has something they are gifted to do. Try your hand at various ways and ask God to help you by placing people in your path that need you today.
Humbling ourselves before God is the key to allowing him to work through us. I have a high school buddy named Eddie Bartlett. He his wife, Robin, still live in Richwood. Their little girl has two brain tumors and is undergoing chemo now. This precious little 10-year-old is hoping to receive 1,000 cards. She watches the mailbox daily, and these cards are a literal lifeline to her right now. Could you please make this your "avenue" today to be a blessing to someone else? I have asked the parents permission to share, so here is her name and address: Danielle Bartlett, 260 Country Club Road, Richwood, W.Va. 26261
You know that euphoria you feel when you watch a "Make a Wish" dream come true, or the "Makeover Home Edition" where dreams come true to hurting people? You can be that wish granter, and that life changer today by sending a card, making a call, babysitting a child, speaking a kind word, mowing a lawn, praying with a hurting person, or just doing whatever it is that you are comfortable or maybe even a little uncomfortable doing. Begin at home and go from there. There may even be hurting people right in your home. Make a difference in someone else's life today.
Kimberly Short Wolfe, MA, is the grief counselor for Mountain Hospice and is also a homeschool mom. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 304-823-3922, ext. 136.